External developer firm Keywords Studios is increasing its presence in Australia with a new pair of studios based in the cities of Brisbane and Adelaide. First spotted by Indigo Pearl, the new studios will allow Keywords to offer new hiring opportunities for the country, as the Australian video game industry has over half of its workforce operating in the city of Melbourne.
Said Keywords’ Tom Davies, who operates as its head of new studios and integration for Australia, “[Our] presence in Australia has grown rapidly to five studios across three states, employing over 170 people. […] We are very excited about what our team has achieved already and look forward to an exciting future.”
Keywords first came to Australia in 2020, and has been gradually increasing its presence over the years. In June, it bought Age of Empires developer Forgotten Empires, and later acquired indie studio Mighty Games in August.
It was also during the month of June that Keywords’ Edmonton studio, which was doing support for BioWare Edmonton, successfully unionized.
The new pair of studios will serve as north (Brisbane) and south (Adelaide) offices for Keywords subsidiary Tantalus Media. Tantalus was bought in 2021 and developed the recent Nintendo Switch remaster of Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
To further bring in Australian developers, Keywords announced its plans to hire 30 more employees within the next several months.
Australia’s game industry is growing, slowly but surely
Back in 2018, Game Developer contributor Katherine Cross reported that Australia was making efforts to become a game development hub in its own right rather than providing secondary support, and Keywords appears to be making moves in that direction.
In 2021, the Australian game industry generated a reported $142 million USD in revenue, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of that growth, which was up 29 percent from the previous year, the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) called for the Australian government to grant more funding towards the industry.
“The Australian government has an immediate opportunity to embrace video games,” said IGEA chief exec Ron Curry at the time. “There is an immediate opportunity to create a $1 billion video game development industry in Australia and play an important part in reviving the Australian economy.”